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Wet rag among proposed rule changes for 2020 season


MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo reports that there have been several proposed rule changes for the 2020 season. Craig discussed one of them earlier: extra innings will start with a runner on second base.

Additionally, there will be a DH in both leagues. There will be no limits on position players pitching. The three-batter minimum will still be implemented. And, accounting for the novel coronavirus, pitchers will be allowed to keep a wet rag in their pocket as a substitute for licking their fingers.

Cotillo adds that the trade deadline will be set for August 31. The Opening Day roster will contain 30 players, but will be reduced to 28 on the 15th day of the season and 26 on the 29th day. The 60-day injured list will likely become the 45-day IL and there will be a 10-day injured list for less serious injuries.

Media access will be limited, per Cotillo. Media members will use Zoom and other forms of video chat. They will be allowed in the stadiums but won’t be allowed to get close to the players.

Many of these rule changes make sense given the circumstances. A lot of attention will be paid to the “wet rag” rule, and deservedly so. It is going to be very difficult to break pitchers’ habit of licking their fingers and touching their face in other ways. What happens when a pitcher does accidentally lick his fingers? Will the ump jump out from behind home plate to call time while the pitcher applies hand sanitizer and a new ball is used?

Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season

Kopech has opted out
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Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.

The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”

Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.

Now, however, Kopech has opted out.